A Chair of Bowlies

I have exactly an hour and a half to write something that will entertain both of us. It’s going to be nip and tuck. So to speak.

My friend, as we speak, is actually looking online searching for a place overseas for us to do just that, correct the ravages of time. I think it’s called medical tourism. It’s called something like that. I’m a Scorpio so you understand I can’t just let my face collapse. Vanity won’t allow it. Shocking but true. Equally shocking, to me anyway, is the skin on my face. It’s suddenly become a size too big. At least one size, maybe two. Nobody wants to look like Joan Rivers, but I’d sooner not look like a dried apple either, if there’s a choice. And there might be. An in-between look. Not the look of my youth, but that would feel crazy, anyway. I’m too jaded to look like a young fawn. We figure if we do the deed soon it should see us out.

We thought India might be the place. It’s certainly reasonable at about $1,000 for a facelift. My husband says what about the heat and bacteria over there? An infection would be nasty! And what about the dexterity? Shouldn’t we consider nimble Asian fingers instead, Vietnam perhaps?

They say one should always have something to look forward to…But looking forward to a new face just seems so decadent, doesn’t it? A tad? And what if they screw it up and make me lop-sided? It’s my face!!!

I have too many things on my plate. I can’t concentrate on this properly. Christmas is coming and I need to find small, lightweight presents for everyone that can be carried across on the ferry. Perhaps books, mainly.

“What can I write about?” I asked my daughter, a few minutes ago on the phone. “I don’t know, mom. What do people want to read about?” Good question. I read about fashion these days. I start the morning with the Guardian online, then switch to the NY Times, finally descending to the depths of the Daily Mail. But by and large I read fashion news and human interest stories. I used to read all the international hard news, but now I just take in the news headlines. It’s more than enough.

Laughter is good. I laughed recently, in a joke shop in Vancouver with my youngest daughter. We laughed and giggled for 20 minutes straight and in the end we had the middle-eastern shop owner joining in the hilarity. We were busting a gut! And that’s a great thing about the new, international Vancouver. It’s international. I’ve been in a few of these countries, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. All the stans. So I have to hold myself back from giving these guys a hug and murmuring “brother!” Meeting them coincided with my youth, so they’re all nostalgic, totemic dudes. I’m going to let you in on some of the jokes in the store, but I suspect you had to be there. I, after much deliberation, bought a pair of socks that has emblazoned across the top band “Fuck this shit!” (There is a picture of a girl with an umbrella going inside out in the rain.) It was a toss-up between them and another pair that said “I have mood swings,” but they were just ugly colours. And it just made the day, the owner’s too, and now we have happy memories of a fun time.

And fun times are what we want, now when time is running short. Though I can only half believe that fact, to be honest, even with the evidence in the mirror. But, yah, fun times! Life is just a bowl of cherries. It might as well be. Perhaps we can be all brooding and mournful on the other side. Why not be happy now? That is actually one take away from my long ago travels. The people I met in the third world were much happier than we are. Way more smiles and laughter. I don’t quite know why. They had nothing. We have nice houses, bank accounts, credenzas, fur-lined sinks. But there is no contest. They win as far as happiness goes. Of course, these observations of mine were made before we started dropping bombs on them all. Perhaps they feel differently now.

We’re just about to head out the door to a friend’s 50th surprise party. One of my young friends. She looks 40 to me. But then, as we all know, fifty’s the new 40, etc. A friend of mine went to visit his aged parents in New Brunswick and that’s all he heard the whole time from them. They were 93 and 88, and he felt like screaming, “face it, you’re old!” after a few days. Perhaps my kids are saying that about us. With a bit of luck I’ll be cheating father time in the near future. Wish us luck with our noble quest to emulate a woman with a deep voice and long black hair and “turn back time.”

Here’s wishing you all a lovely Christmas and holiday season with kith and kin!